Solo Traverse Sahara Desert – Patrick Bauer 

Patrick Bauer crossing 350 kilometers of the Sahara Desert on foot 1984
Patrick Bauer, Marathon des Sables
Patrick Bauer
January 12, 1984
Tamanrasset, Algeria
January 23, 1984
Guezam, Algeria

After a discussion with two friends an idea dawned on the 28-year old Patrick Bauer, to channel all their energy towards the same aim, to try to traverse 350 km of uninhabited Sahara desert on foot.
They chose to start just 3 weeks later to connect their adventure with the Paris-Dakar auto rally, to get some media attention and hopefully sponsors.
They indeed managed to get 30% of their 40.000 French Francs (ca $ 6,657) covered by local sponsors.

After 4 days in the auto rally they left to take care of all logistics for their own challenge, and on January 12 Patrick set off on a 12-day journey with a 40 kg rucksack, containing 15 litres of water and food. He slept in a sleeping bag, enduring the cold nights.

His brother and a close friend followed him along with an old Peugeot 504.

The challenging expedition through Nigeria towards the Southern border near Niger, exposed him to extreme temperatures and dangerous wildlife. He also passed the infamous Dunes de Laouni, an area of ​​treacherous quicksand, known as the largest junkyard in the Sahara.

Nevertheless he managed to cover 30 km each day, enjoying the incredible beauty and diversity of the Sahara, and meeting, truck drivers, tourists and even the Tuareg nomads, a large Berber ethnic group whose long caravans once weaved their way across the desert.

On the 12th day he completed the journey: “I really was very happy to have arrived but deep down inside I was invaded by an enormous sadness, knowing that I would no longer leave my footprints in this place that I had learned to love.”

Patrick described his experience as “one of the greatest adventures I’ve ever been on”. His desire to push boundaries and explore uncharted terrain, and his perseverance and determination pushed him through even the toughest conditions. His incredible accomplishment has since inspired many other expeditions.

He wanted to share his deep experience and that was the beginning of the Marathon of the Sands, now know as the Marathon des Sables, in Morocco.

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